One of the (many) unfortunate things about being treated for Acute Myeloid Leukemia is that a few weeks after chemo, your platelet count plummets. Platelets are the things that allow your blood to clot, and basically make it so if you have a minor fall and get cut up, you’re ok. Plus, AML treatment also reduces your immune system, so those little scrapes and bruises that you can get on a normal ride actually have a risk of giving you nasty infections.
So after enjoying the beautiful fall weather we’ve been having in New York, I’m now stuck in my apartment, unable to be on the road.
It gives you a lot of time to think, that’s for sure.
I’ve thought back on my Triathlon training, and how sad it made me to be unable to actually complete any of the goals I set for myself this summer. I try not to get bummed about it, but truthfully, I think this is one of those times where it’s ok to be disappointed. The funny thing, though, is just how many sacrifices I made to get the triathlon training done, and then none of it really mattered. Well, other than setting me up to tolerate the chemo pretty well.
Mostly, though, I find ways to try to get on the bike even without getting on the road.
So what does that entail, exactly? Well, I use an indoor trainer to store my bike in front of my TV, I find a good movie, TV show, or sporting event, and I plop my butt down and get pedalling.
Sometimes I play variations of drinking games, only increasing or decreasing my pace based on rules for the show I’m watching. For example, I use the show “How I Met Your Mother” for this a lot. Any time the main character, Ted, does something that makes me want to hit him, I do 15 second sprints at the fastest pace I can manage. This is often. Any time Neil Patrick Harris’s character, Barney Stinson, uses any variation of the word “Legendary”, it’s a 30 second sprint. There are a few other rules, but you’d be surprised how good of a work out you can pack into a 30 minute show. Generally, I use the commercials to cool down, though you could reverse it if you like.
So as I sit in my apartment, trying not to get a fever (which is inevitable, more or less), I keep trying to find ways to simulate being on the open road.
Unfortunately, this round of chemo has left me a bit more drained than previous rounds, and I feel the impending fever coming on.
So I’ll be cutting this article short. Hopefully I’ll be back on the road again soon, but if not, enjoy the open road in my honor.